Knitting Factory, Friday, March 8

The lines between rap music and spoken word poetry have been blurry since rap's first flowering in the early 1970s, but whether the two should be considered cousins is still a subject under debate. Daily Beast writer John McWhorter argues the two are one and the same, citing rap's rhyme schemes, careful composition and thought-provoking lines—and though plenty of counter arguments have been made, they seem to fall short when it comes to Chicago-based rapper Noname, whose music can be traced undeniably to poetic roots. A fascination with spoken word and success in a citywide poetry competition launched Noname (a.k.a. Fatimah Warner) to fame in 2016 when she self-released her debut album, Telefone. Now, Noname will travel to Boise to promote her newest album, Room 25 (self-released, 2018), a jazz- and soul-infused discourse that touches on everything from race and gender to sexuality and religion, all delivered in her signature laid-back purr.

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